If you consider high school to have been the greatest years of your life, it can usually be assumed that you either peaked in the 11th grade or are currently on meth. High school sucks. Especially if you are the victim of bullying. Sadly, one Oklahoma lawmaker who was hoping to solve the bullying epidemic in Oklahoma public schools recently failed in passing legislation that would have surely made a great talking point in his next chamber meeting.
OKLAHOMA CITY – “He has been beaten multiple times in the head with a fist as he was walking in a classroom at the middle school,” Jessica Visalli said.
She’s a parent, pushing for new rules: giving bullied students in public schools scholarships to private institutions.
“Not everybody is blessed enough to be able to pull their kids out of public school and put them in a private school where maybe this won’t happen. This bill meant that,” she said.
Senator Rob Standridge wrote Senate Bill 570 to create the Hope Scholarship Program Act.
Come on, attending a wealthy school doesn’t prevent bullying. Most of the time it probably just changes the type of bullying kids might experience. As someone who spent ten months in college interning at a rich metro school, it seemed that often times the income disparity between the wealthy majority and the middle and lower SES minority led to disadvantages not only in regards to bullshit high school status symbols, but also when it came to what resources kids had to get them out of trouble. As with any microcosm of capitalist society, money talks, persuades, and protects. And no, I’m not just saying this because I’m still jaded after once overhearing a group of juniors with weekly allowances larger than my monthly income making fun of my old-ass Ford Escape.
How does Standridge plan to fund this plan anyway?
Standridge says he understands there’s bullying at private schools as well but wants to give those who may not have resources the option to choose.
“They’re the decision maker. Not us. So I think the parent should be empowered to make that choice.”
Students would need three documented cases of bullying within a school year to get the private school scholarship.
The cost would be $5 million from the state’s education budget.
Yes, because the best way to decrease the likelihood that a public school kid gets bullied is by diverting millions of dollars from their school system, thus likely decreasing the teacher pay budget and increasing class sizes, which as a result provides less staff to watch over and provide help for children experiencing bullying. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. But then again, I went to public school.
Caffeinated, motivated, educated. Follow Hayley on Twitter @squirrellygeek.